Scattered, Mixed Fishing Reports on Kentucky & Barkley Lakes
Written by Doug Wynn - Published on February 16, 2022
Hey Y’all from the Excel Storm Cat 230. I am still kicking, just laying low for a bit.
It has been a very busy time since my last report. Shoulder replacement right after the tornado on December 20 and the ongoing rehab, dealing with business losses and damage from the storm, and chasing our Grandkids all over the place for ballgames.
I got a call from a fellow guide yesterday asking why he hasn’t seen me around and if I was keeping up with the current fishing conditions. My answer was I haven’t had the boat out of the garage since mid-November and most of my fishing contacts have either spent part of the winter in warmer climates or like me, stayed away from the ice and cold.
What reports I have had are mixed to say the least. Some Livescopers have done well while more traditional tactics have not borne fruit on a daily basis.
While enjoying breakfast at JoJo’s Café in Benton this morning, I struck up a conversation with a friend who was on Barkley Tuesday, chasing catfish to stock his freezer. He had a good day on the river drops using nightcrawlers. While not trophy size, his catch of blue cats was a welcome addition.
One thing my friend brought up was a fish kill he witnessed. Not only did he report seeing dead shad, but he also saw some dead redears. Shad kills after a freeze are seen many winters, but dead game fish are not. I made a call to KY Fish and Wildlife about this, and I encourage you to do the same if you witness dead game fish along the shores.
My phone has been ringing steadily about guide trip bookings. I did find out last week that I am going to have to have cataract surgery in mid-March so I’ve blanked the entire month of March off. I want to be as close to 100% healthy when clients step on my boat as possible so April 1st is the official beginning of my trips.
I just watched a wonderful video that was done about the clean-up along our shores from the tornado damage. One group that is doing wonderful work is “Living Lands and Waters”. They are not only retrieving large pieces of structural damage and docks, but they are also cleaning the LBL shores on foot.
After seeing the video on Explore Kentucky Lake's YouTube channel, I made a donation to this group and encourage you to do so also. We experienced a lifetime storm on December 10th. Many folks will be hurting for years to rebuild and try to recover what they lost.
As we get into warmer weather and more folks take to the water, I urge you to be extremely careful around shorelines and just offshore in the Cambridge Shores area as well as Eddy Creek area on Barkley. If there can be any bright side to a tragic storm like this, we will have huge amounts of new woody cover along the banks that will not only help fishermen but also help the spawning gamefish that will use them.
Please be careful out there. We will be at winter pool for several months yet, but the fishing fever will start to set in on those warmer days. Wear your PFD, carry extra clothes in case you get wet, make sure you tell somebody where you will be and when you expect to return, and watch out for gremlins. Please keep in mind that even with improving technology, we still have areas around the lakes that have limited to no cell signal.
Vicki and I will be giving Elena Blevins of the Marshall County Tourism Office a couple days of relief at the Indianapolis Boat Show on February 25 and 26th. If you happen to be in the area, drop by the booth. We will be next to HITEC Outdoors.
Welcome to our slice of Heaven.